Homecoming: Tulane vs. UAB At Tad Gormley

Tulane football returns to Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park Saturday afternoon for the third straight Homecoming game to be held at that site. The Green Wave face the streaking UAB Blazers in a C-USA contest. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m.

Tulane football returns to Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park Saturday afternoon for the third straight Homecoming game to be held at that site. The Green Wave face the streaking UAB Blazers in a C-USA contest. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m.

Homecoming festivities begin at 10 a.m.

The Green Wave, 1-4 overall and 0-3 in C-USA and looking to end a three game losing streak, face a foe in UAB that they defeated in the past two seasons. This season the Blazer's record is 5-1 overall, 3-0 in C-USA.

As usual the Green Wave offense will be led by senior receiver Roydell Williams, who leads the team with 15 catches for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior receiver Chris Bush is secon in receptions with 12 catches for 252 yards ans 2 touchdowns.

Junior running back Jovon Jackson leads the Wave rushing attack with 412 yards on 85 carries. Jackson has scored 3 touchdowns so far this season.

Senior captain and starting right tackle Jimmy Kosienski is doubtful this week after suffering an ankle sprain in the Memphis game. If Kopsienski is unable to go, his replacement would be redshirt sophomore Derek Rogers.

Tulane's offense has sputtered in an uncharacteristic fashion this season with redshirt sophomore Lester Ricard, a transfer from LSU, replacing the graduated J.P. Losman at quarterback but the offense showed some signs of life against Memphis last week with Ricard throwing for 3 touchdowns while gaining 226 yards on his pass completions.

For the season Ricard has completed 59 of 110 passes for 765 yards and 9 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.

For the third season in the past four, the Tulane defense is faced with the necessity of depending upon several true freshmen in the defensive line. Youth is generally not an advantage in the trenches and the Green Wave defense is once again playing in an non-optimal situation.

Two true freshmen, tackle Avery Williams and end Antonio Harris are starters on the defensive line, while Frank Morton is on the second team d-line. Tulane has zero junior or senior defensive linemen available for 2004. Redshirt sophomore's Taurean Brown, a defensive tackle, and defensive end Michael Purcell are the most experienced players available. Brown has started the last 3 games.

In addition, true freshman defensive tackle Ryan Johnson played in the frst two games of the season, getting a start against Florida A&M. However, Johnson has not been available for action since the FAMU game. Two other true freshmen, defensive ends Reggie Scott and Julian Shives-Sams also saw action in the early part of the season before injuries also put an end to their season. All three are probable candidates for medical redshirts.

The defense is led by junior linebacker Anthony Cannon, who leads the team in every defensive category this season. Cannon's total of 52 tackles rank him fifth in Conference USA, while he also leads the Green Wave's in tackles for loss with 5 and in sacks with 3.

Tulane punter Chris Beckman has been heralded as the Green Wave's most consistent player in the early part of the season. Beckman's 42.8-yard punting average ranks second in the league and 23rd nationally, and 10 of his 28 punts have landed inside the opponents' 20-yard line, five of those inside the 10. Perhaps a better indication of his developing accuracy is the fact that not a single Tulane punt has resulted in a touchback.
,br> UAB's defense has struggled at times despite the 5-1 record, allowing 23 opponeents to average 23 points per game. However, the Blazers are +8 in turnover margin, compared to Tulane's -6 turnover balance. The Blazers have scored 3 defensive touchdowns to date in 2004.

The Blazer defense has allowed 143.3 yards rushing per game and 402 yards in total offense.

The defense is led by senior linebacker Zac Woodfin, the Blazers all time career leader in tackles and an All C-USA performer.

UAB is led by junior quarterback Darrell Hackney, whose career to date has been plagued by injuries. Injury-free so far this season, Hackney is having his career season: 79-142 passing for 1,328 yards and 16 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions. Hackney, who ranks 7th nationally in passing efficiency, is a big quarterback - 6-2 235 - with an NFL caliber arm.

Hackney notwithstanding, this is still a team with a potent rushing attack. The running back corps is deep and rotates frequently. Dan Burks leads the team with a 5.5 yards per carry average. Burks has amassed 442 net yards on 81 carries and scored a touchdown.

The goal line specialist is Corey White. White has a total of 261 net yards on 46 carries, an average of 5.7 yards per carry and 3 touchdowns.

Receiver Roddy White dominates the receiving corps with 31 catches for 633 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Hackney spreads the ball around: three other receivers have 9 receptions each and one has 8.

Receiver Reggie Lindsey has become a dangerous punt returner, averaging 16.5 yards on 11 carries, with a touchdown and a 67 yard return. Lindsey has also averaged nearly 27 yards per kick off return, totalling 295 yards on 11 returns.

Kicker Nick Hayes is 7-of-11 on field goals this season. Hayes is deadly from the 39 in, 7-for-7 this season. The distance of Hayes kickoffs averages out to about the 7 yard line.

Punter Parker Mullins averages 40.7 per punt with 8 punts downed inside the 20 and 4 touchbacks. Mullins has had 1 punt blocked.


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